Ice Age Journeys

10th March 2021

A Zoom presentation by Dr Ian Ross

Chairman of the charity Ice Age Insights

Dr Ian Ross gave a fascinating talk on the world of the Hunter Gatherers who, 14,000 years ago in the Upper Palaeolithic period, paused on their travels near modern day Farndon. He covered essential questions, the ice age and its impact on geomorphology, the hunter gathers, their origin, their journeys across Doggerland to Farndon. Why did they choose this area?

But first of all Dr Ross told us how Farndon was uncovered as such an important archaeological site. This was due to the development of the A46 that led to the discovery of a rich hoist of flints. Deep ploughing has uncovered more. Farndon is now acknowledged alongside Cresswell Crags and Bradgate Park in Leicester as a key Upper Palaeolithic site of international importance.

The Hunters Gatherers came across Doggerland from mainland Europe. They would choose the ‘least cost pathway’ for their journey so as to limit their energy loss. Having arrived at the Lincolnshire Wolds – a rich chalk seam embedding precious flint, they harvested the flints they would need and moved on about 17 miles to the Farndon area. The River Trent at that time was braided or multi channelled, undisciplined waters that enveloped the whole area.  Present day Farndon lay between the converging the rivers Trent and the Devon It yielded a stretch of land that could be used to lay the camp – hunt the wild animals trapped on islands, nap the flints, live their lives until they moved on again.

And what about the famous flint? How was it fashioned to make implements that could build, kill and generally enable life? We were treated to a short film on napping. The fact that modern day archaeology can deduce from flint evidence the sex of the napper, whether left or right-handed and the position they were sitting when napping was truly fascinating. A film of modern-day napping demonstrated well the skill. What did these ancient people look like? Again, we were treated to a film reconstruction based on a 14,000-year-old skull, showing a girl introducing herself. Hugely authentic.

This is a difficult subject to put across, it requires a leap of the imagination to understand the life they led – and to grasp the underpinning time period, climate changes, geological transformation that laid the foundation of the land we see today. With the use of excellent maps, pictures, films and reconstructions, Dr Ross made this accessible and exciting.

This presentation can be seen as private viewing by emailing: